Assisted living facilities are an ideal option for seniors that are looking to receive a measure of aid in order to go about their day to day living. The scope of this particular service is pretty wide, as it can stretch from preparing daily meals and helping them take medication to driving them around to handle various errands during the day. It should also be noted that these special services are not just reserved for those that need help completing various activities for daily living. Indeed, assisted living is a terrific option for those that want a break from having to handle home maintenance and would prefer to spend more time on enjoying the leisurely life of a retiree.

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The cost of assisted living in Madison

According to the 2015 Genworth Cost of Care Survey, assisted living residents in Madison can expect to pay more on an annual basis in comparison to the national average. Assisted living cost averages $48,900 in Wisconsin’s state capital, which is a few thousand dollars more than the US average price tag of $43,200. This cost breaks down to $4,075 per month, or about $134 per day.

This annual figure represents a rather cost-effective alternative option for seniors that don’t want to continue to maintain a home yet aren’t ready to receive skilled nursing care. Madison’s annual assisted living cost is well below the city’s home health and homemaker annual average of about $61,501. Furthermore, Madison’s annual assisted living price tag is substantially less than its nursing home care costs, which annually average out to about $86,870 for a semi-private room and about $94,991 for a private room.

For qualified veterans and their spouses, further assisted living savings may be obtainable via the Aid and Attendance Pension Benefit, which can otherwise be known as the A&A Pension Benefit. This special benefit can provide a veteran up to $1,788 per month, a surviving spouse up to $1,149 per month, or a couple up to $2,120 per month. Furthermore, a veteran with a sick spouse that applies for the program is eligible to receive up to $1,406 per month. The process to qualify for the A&A Pension Benefit is relatively simple.

Eligible veterans or surviving spouses of eligible veterans must show the need for help with activities for daily living, otherwise known as ADLs. Some of these activities include bathing, cooking, dressing, medication management, leaving the house for errands and appointments, and grooming. With that being said, seniors do not need to demonstrate that they need help for all of these activities. Aid and Attendance funds can assist in paying for ADL services in numerous places, such as an assisted living community, skilled nursing home, or within the confines of the senior’s own home. For those that are interested, it should be noted that the application process could take several months from beginning to end, but retroactive payments are sent upon the program’s approval.

What’s assisted living in Madison like?

The assisted living experience in Madison will slightly differ depending on what assisted living community you choose. While each of these special facilities all strive to create a secure, safe environment for all patrons, they go about achieving this endgame differently. The differences between these communities are partially driven by the surrounding neighborhoods they happen to be in, as they tend to match the atmosphere and culture of the community. Most of these differences that are experienced are typically found within each facility’s menu of a la carte services in addition to the services that are included with the residents’ monthly fees.

What’s included in assisted living?

More often than not, the following services can be found as part of an assisted living facility’s room and board:

  • Private living quarters. This is typically the equivalent of a studio or 1-bedroom apartment in size, but they can be as large as a multi-bedroom space about the size of a small house.
  • 24-hour security and supervision. This includes on-site security as well as on-call nursing assistance.
  • Emergency call systems in each living space, in case summoning help is needed.
  • Basic utilities. These include elements like water, natural gas, and electricity.
  • Daily meals and snacks. These are often served in a main dining area, restaurant style.
  • Housekeeping and laundry services. This typically is inclusive of a weekly cleaning and a weekly linens change.
  • Medication services. These include reminders to take medication on schedule as well as reminders on prescription refills.
  • Wellness and fitness activities. These range from modern options like yoga to traditional choices like a fitness center.
  • Social and recreational opportunities. These range from game nights and movie nights to field trips to points of interest such as the Overture Center for the Arts and the Wisconsin Historical Museum.
  • Shopping and transportation aid. These are typically provided on a routine basis and usually involved trips to local grocers, medical centers, and retail shops.

What may be available for an extra fee?

Some communities may also offer additional on-site perks that residents can pay extra to utilize. Typically, these perks can include private transportation, personal laundry service, beauty salon services, and massage sessions.

The continuum-of-care option

Additionally, many seniors look for an assisted living service known as a continuum of care, which essentially describes a facility that can provide accommodation for residents regardless of what their specific need may be. Residents in these particular communities typically don’t have to deal with as many big moves should their health or daily needs shift, and they will also remain in a familiar setting even if their health dictates that they have to move to a different building within the facility’s complex. Prices on continuum of care do fluctuate based on the actual service that is needed.

Resources, volunteer opportunities and points of interest for veterans

The Wisconsin Department of Veterans Affairs provides aid and assistance to Wisconsin’s numerous veterans as they try to negotiation the VA benefits system. Those that wish to pay it forward and help fellow veterans figure out their benefits can do so through the organization on a volunteer basis.

The main military-themed point of interest to be found in Madison is the Wisconsin Veterans Museum. Vets will find numerous ongoing and temporary exhibitions, presentations, and other programs that tell the story of Wisconsin’s contribution to defending our country from the Civil War up to modern times.